Welcome Back the Streetcar

Once a fixture in American cities, then falling into obsolescence, streetcars appear to be seeing a comeback. In cities such as Tucson, investment in light rail has catalyzed substantial economic development in its downtown.

“Operations will not start until next year…but local business leaders say the streetcar has already revived the center of this sprawling, artsy city,” writes Daniel C. Vock, speaking of Tucson’s new streetcar line.

“Two dozen cities already operate light rail and streetcars. Many are considering expansions, while dozens more are studying proposals to build their own.”

“In fact, light rail (including streetcars) is by far the fastest-growing mode of transit, carrying 2.5 times as many passengers as they did in 1990.”

But not everyone is such a big fan. Light rail comes at a pricey premium when compared to bus service, rousing some detractors such as Cincinnati’s mayor-elect John Cranley who has vowed to kill that city’s planned streetcar project.

Full Story: Cities Turn to Streetcars to Spur Economic Development

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